Why should I?

Why should I?

I am new to the forum but have reading quite a bit. I currently drive a Leaf and will never have a gas car again as a primary driver. I test drove a TMS P85. WOW! Great performance. Interior design and execution, just OK. But I am in love with the car and think that is where I am headed. But I must ask "Why should I?"

I have read several posts that complain about Vampire losses. How much are these really? Some people are saying double digits per day. I left my leaf unplugged at the airport for 8 days and it had the same range/% capacity as when I left it.
I know everyone is saying that 5.0 will fix it? but did it?

Other complaints about the A/C and the sunroofs. Even a post of motor failure.
poor delivery experience and hard to get parts.

Are these just a small number of complaints? Or systemic problems with the car?
Just a very vocal tiny minority?

I had an SUV made in America and it was a total lemon! Traded it after 2 years and glad I did. I wish I had looked for a forum before buying it, because if I had, I would have seen a ton of problems listed and never would have bought it. But that may go for any vehicle.

So I ask, "Why should I?"

ModelS3P | September 14, 2013

I just left my Model S at the airport for a little more than two days (last Wed pm-Fri pm), and the vampire losses were about eight miles per day (I arrived with 100 rated miles and left with 84 rated miles). That being said, I do not have v5.0. With v5.0, it has been reported that people have experienced losses of 1-2 miles per day, so a significant advantage.

Jolinar | September 14, 2013

Vampire losses reduced by around 75% with new software from what I heard. So 1-2 miles a day.

Dreamknightmanga | September 14, 2013

I think the big thing to look into is the fact that because of 5.0 there is less issues. That means as other issues arrive, all it means for us is an update in the middle of the night as we sleep. I don't know much about the leaf but is it able to download new features are introduced or fixes are available? Or are you stuck either bringing it in for a tech or having to trade in the car? For me I love the look of the car. It looks like a regular sports car but without the gas pain. I really think its the kind of thing either you get it or you don't.

Low CG | September 14, 2013

Don't hesitate to buy a Model S. The vast majority of owners are thrilled with the car and the service.

jat | September 14, 2013

I gave my LEAF to my wife for the Model S, and it is really no contest. I have had no issues whatsoever, which I think is actually representative of most owners.

HGP16 | September 14, 2013

Everything about MS is revolutionary, game-changing, positively "disruptive." If that appeals, and you want to be part of it, go ahead. But if it seems very expensive and you aren't into cars for more than basic transportation, you might want to wait a couple of years for Model E. I suspect it will feel equally revolutionary, and you can get two for the same price as an S!

info | September 14, 2013

I've been watching America's Got Talent. Have you noticed Heidi Klum has very long thumbs. Now she may be a beautiful woman, but her thumbs are 1/2 an inch longer than God intended thumbs to be. I can't watch the show any more. When she gives someone two thumbs up, I'm afraid she's going to poke herself in the eye---or both eyes.

Same thing with the Model S. It's got some flaws, but it's closer to the perfect car than Heidi is to the perfect woman. If you can get one without missing meals or selling a kidney---do it. Let me change that, you could probably stand to miss a meal or two.

diegoPasadena | September 14, 2013

Here's the odd thing: Even though some people have had some issues - most minor - I bet *nobody* would be willing to say that they'd rather not have the car. None of the known issues - as far as I know - are very significant, and Tesla is taking care of all of them.
So I know I'm not alone in saying: I don't care if not everything is perfect yet. I know eventually it will be. If you've ever had the opportunity to speak with Jerome Guillen, any doubt you might have had will be gone. If Elon Musk along can't convince everyone by himself, because he's only one guy, every contact with a Tesla employee - be it from the lower or the higher echelon of the company - will serve to further strengthen your belief, that Tesla will take care of you. I don't mind giving them the time they need.
If all I got was the ride and nothing else worked, I'd still prefer to have a Model S. It's *that* much better than anything else I know of. If they told me: "You'll have to get by without the 17" screen working at all for the next three months and you have to control all the basics via app!" I'd say, too bad, but I'd still want to drive the Model S instead of any of my previous ICEmobiles.
The reason is that Tesla got us to focus on what *really* matters in a car: The driving experience. All other things are conveniences that are lovely to have (and Tesla will eventually have to be expand them even further to compete in today's market), but they are just that: Conveniences. I for one would prefer to live without than having to go back to an ICE.
But everything does work. Some few cars have little problems here and there, often problems that other manufacturers would not even acknowledge as problems. That's to be expected and can happen with *any* car. With others, you have to go through the dealer to solved them. Here, Tesla itself will be there for you, if there should be an issue.
That's why, PFP, you should.

diegoPasadena | September 14, 2013

Typo at the end. I wish we had an edit function even as a non-OP...

madbuns | September 14, 2013

@info - I almost fell off my seat laughing...

"...poke herself in the eye..."

Good point, though. In fact, I missed a meal today during my "let's find public chargers and see how they work" trip.

(they worked fine - not nearly the trouble that I thought they were going to be)

@PFP - nothing is perfect, but I have to say that my Tesla experience up to now has been pretty spectacular. I have tested 5.0 (Maggie was delivered with 5.0) and drain and I prorate my (brief) experiences to between 1-2 miles per day. Regarding some of the other issues...

(Motor) - I have the hum, however, performance is not hurt - I am planning my first service visit in a week or two so I can provide a full punchlist.

(Pano) - I think the factory has yet to make complete adjustments to handle the noise problem and leaves some of the dirty work to the service centers. I have a minor Pano issue - largely pressure - suggesting a very small leak somewhere - on my list.

(A/C) Works fine - I have been running it non-stop since picking up the car and have been pleased with the performance.

I drove my wife's car the other day (Toyota Camry) - fine car, but not nearly the same as driving my Tesla.

The only concern that I would have for you is your TCO - you already have a non-ICE vehicle - many have leveraged the economic consideration, in part, to make the leap to the Tesla. For you, you will want to just love the car - because the argument really is no longer economic - it is lifestyle.


J.T. | September 14, 2013

There is a quote from Dorothy Parker: "I hate writing, I love having written."

I know that quote because as many of you know from the quality of my posts that I am an accomplished and gifted writer. Really! I have a book of short stories about humility I'm shopping around.

Anyway, there are times when I think about my purchase and wonder if it's really worth it. $97,000.00 is a lot of money to me. Yes, it's a great ride. Yes, it's an amazing, cutting edge, futuristic car. Yes, it will change the face of the auto industry and Elon Musk will change the world for the better. But, is it worth it?

I'm on Long Island where Teslas are still pretty rare. When my customers or relatives find out I own a Tesla they look at me a little differently. I'm all of a sudden getting the recognition for being the incredibly intelligent and cool guy I always knew I was but that everybody else was missing. What it seems to be is that the Tesla makes everyone around you smarter so that thy can now see how smart you are for making such a dynamic purchase.

My point is, I hated spending the 97,000 but I love having spent it.

Thomas N. | September 14, 2013

Somebody on one of these forums stated "I'm either going to be the smartest guy in my neighborhood or the dumbest!"

I love that quote because it's totally true. I'll be the first in my neighborhood of maybe 500 homes to drive a Tesla. I'm sure I'll get a lot of questions and more than a few raised eyebrows.

Should Tesla implode I'll look pretty silly. I'll have a 100K albatross that I won't even be able to sell. Should Tesla take off like I think it will over the next few years it will be a household name and I'll be that guy that had a Tesla "way back in 2013".

What's life without a little drama?

SCCRENDO | September 14, 2013

5 months 10,500 miles. Beginning to think about my first service in 2,000 more miles. Tire rotation at 6,000 miles. Have the pano roof creek, actually not a big deal. Used the wrong glue in installation and it does melt in extreme heat. Should have got it fixed at 6,000 with the tire rotation but will let them do it at the service. Got the TMPS sensory warningi intermittently starting day one. That was the mild issue with March April models. Changed out the sensor and reset an antennae, problem solved. Had a faulty charging cable, just quit charging one night, after a couple weeks ownership. Swapped out the cord. Some may call those issues I say minor glitches. Pretty get in and drive and charge up when I get home.

defmonk | September 14, 2013


I love my Model S. I wouldn't encourage anyone to stretch to buy it (or any car for that matter). Even though Tesla likes to market it as economical, like any higher end car, it's really not. Teslas will only get better and cheaper with time. As with any new technology, those who wait will be rewarded (I just was taken aback recently by a 58" ultra-flat HDTV for less than $1,000 at Costco, remembering that I paid more nearly $10,000 for my first 42" (?) heat-emitting low def plasma TV many years ago).

PFP | September 14, 2013

Wow! Some really great testimonials here. I really appreciate everyone's passion for the model S. I love the leaf. No issues. Quiet. Quick. No, I can't update it but there are no issues I see that need to be updated. It is a fabulous commuter car but it no, it isn't a luxury car.
That said, maybe I need/deserve to spoil myself ..... :)

PFP | September 14, 2013

O and my wife is watching Project Runway right now and you are right....Heidi Klum's thumbs are freaky long!
The rest of her fingers too. Guess no one or nothings perfect....

Bighorn | September 14, 2013

Infatuation is probably the best way to put how I, and many, feel about this car. I empathize with those that can't afford one. You love your Leaf--wouldn't you like to be able to do more than local commutes with your electric car? I look forward to superchargers and trips to either coast. I've only got 1200 miles on my P85+, but have had zero issues. It seems that any disgruntlement over issues is most often converted to awe at the responsiveness of service to make things right. It's hard to pin a number on how much of my decision to buy was made based on promoting the technology and the success of the company, but it's pushing a majority share. So far, this car has really made me/us look like the smartest guy/gal in the room, especially to those to whom we recommended the stock.

LV2SF99999 | September 14, 2013

Why should you?

It's like asking why you should marry that certain someone. If you have to ask, seriously, you probably shouldn't.

You should only commit to the MS if you're completely overwhelmed with the beauty and grace of the technology and what it symbolizes for our country's economy and for the world's future.

OK, maybe that's going a bit far, but why should you?

Because you want it!

SamO | September 14, 2013

I have a MS60 with 4.5. Loses less than 8 miles per day. Dropped it off for service with 10 miles and it has only lost 5 miles in the last 3 days. Perhaps it is in sleep mode.

I am borrowing a P85+ from the Service Center and I am losing 1-2 miles/day but it takes the car an extra 10 seconds to wake up and go into drive.

Brian H | September 14, 2013

"Why not?"

GDH | September 14, 2013

I personally would never leave a car with a high price tag at an airport for even one day let alone 8. Now with the Leaf I would hoping that someone would steal it.

Take cab to the airport and leave the S home plugged in. Problem solved.

Tâm | September 14, 2013

1) Vampire losses: With current V5, I lose about 2-3 miles a day if unplugged.

I haven't tried unplugged for days but it does go to sleep so even if you are unplugged for a week, think suspect you don't lose much more than 3 miles total.

2) A/C : works great for me. Others may complained about its maximum loudness at defaulted automatic setting when first started but you can manually dial down the fan speed and temperature if you want.

3) sunroof: I don't have one but I drove a loaner with it for 1 day and it worked fine.

4) motor failure: Electric motor lasts a long time, so it's pretty rare.

5) poor delivery experience: I got a good one, a perfect one in Southern CA. Others had theirs delivered by a third party truck as if a Fedex would drop off your package, so there are factors to consider. Some just fly from the East Coast and drive back with their cars from the factory.

6) hard to get parts: It may also happen with other ICE when it's in a body shop and needs parts. Sure, it's just around 1 year, not many parts available from junkyards yet, so availability may be tight.

7) Small number of complaints? There are deficiencies but most owners are happy.

8) Systemic problems with the car? If it's systemic, you would hear it from Consumer Reports (They tested the only car that died on them Fisker Karma).

9) Just a very vocal tiny minority? Yes. Owner do complain but they are still happy driving one.

10) "Why should I?": You have Tesla to make it right even if you would get a lemon.

Everyone has their own reason to buy Tesla. Some is just too cheap to pay for gas. Some just are environmentalists like female race driver Leilani Munter, some just love the performance, some just want the fame, some just falls in love with the look, some just love the technology, and still some just want to buy the future today...

Search your soul, may be you are a skeptic so you should buy this car to prove that Elon has gotten it all wrong!

michael1800 | September 14, 2013

OP- If you're posting here and you've taken a test may not have a choice anymore. Welcome!

Mark K | September 14, 2013

I have two of these cars and they are truly awesome.

The complaints are minor nits. The advances are compelling.

There is not another car available that delivers as good an experience.

info | September 15, 2013

Getting back to Heidi's thumbs which are critically important to this, or any other discussion, would you hire her to be a hand model for gloves or hand cream? Probably not. If the only thing you saw was the thumbs, you'd simply go to the next contestant. My guess is that very few people have noticed her thumbs. Some people might not even know she has thumbs. You have to consider the whole package. How many women would not trade looks with her knowing that they had to accept her thumb problem?

As you can see, I'm a fairly critical guy. I can find fault with everything. I'm sure when I die and go to Heaven I'll find some nits to pick there. My first one will be that they won't let me take the Tesla. Same thing applies here. There are some little problems but over all, nothing else is close.

There may be more than one, but I know a guy who gave back his Tesla after a week because of some glitches. When he called me for an assessment of the car, I was honest but effusive in praise for the good things. I told him it was still not perfect, but Tesla Service would make it right, whatever the problem. The second day he had the car it wouldn't charge. He called me and asked if he was being unreasonable in asking for a new car. I told him he was. There was a warranty and it would be honored and he'd get a loaner that was at least as good as the car he bought in terms of equipment. He didn't last a week. I think he made a big mistake.

All in all, if your wife is on board, get it. As Heidi says, "Two thumbs---way up."

mclary | September 15, 2013

If you have taken a test drive and you still have to ask, then you should probably stick with your leaf!!!

The second something goes wrong, then you will be plastering the problem (big or small) all over the forum.

LMB | September 15, 2013

Not totally getting the Klum thumb thing, but that's okay...

Everyone seems very satisfied with the Leaf. At least that's what I hear on these forums. No one is selling it short, and quite a few folks have one of each.

So the point is, Tesla is a totally different experience from the Leaf, and do you want that experience too? You probably do. If the price is not too much of an issue, Brian H. is right - why not?

I do feel (temporarily) bad for folks who can't afford this experience yet. We had some powerful Tesla time yesterday with a young, very knowledgeable couple in the supermarket parking lot who were driving a Kia and gazed at our vehicle with stars in their eyes. When I told them about the Model E, it was like I had transformed their lives. I can't wait for that part to be less of an issue. (If Elon lets me down, I don't know if I will ever recover.)

So, given the price, everyone has their own "is it worth it" threshold - but from reading your first post, I'm thinking you're already a goner.

Thomas N. | September 15, 2013

And for some, Heidi might not be the right choice at all. Some may far prefer Mel B.

Myself included.